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The Meaning of Everything: The Story of the Oxford English Dictionary By Simon Winchester

The Meaning of Everything: The Story of the Oxford English Dictionary
by Simon Winchester

Who better to take on the challenge than the talented story-teller Simon Winchester? This book charts the life of the OED leading up to the appointment of the first editor, James Murray, in 1879, through to the OED's publication in 1928 and beyond. It is useful for those with an interest in language and words.
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The Meaning of Everything: The Story of the Oxford English Dictionary Summary


A kleptomaniac, the nephew of a French Emperor, the creator of an imaginary land inhabited by small hairy creatures, a homicidal lunatic, an Esperanto enthusiast, the man who introduced the camel to the Wild West, the captain of an all-ladies sculling team, a hermit, and the son of a Scottish draper. Just who were these people and what connected them to the world's greatest dictionary? It was on New Year's morning, 1928, that an eruption of mad lexical glee from a battered old typewriter on a desk in Baltimore from the hands of Henry Louis Mencken sent news all across the USA of the long-awaited publication of the book that was to crown the English language undisputed monarch of the linguistic kingdom. From the Oxford-based project a total of 414,825 words, ten times as many as had hitherto been suspected of existing, had now been recognized and catalogued, the results of seventy years of Herculean effort by scholars, linguists, and thousands of ordinary and not-so-ordinary people. The Meaning of Everything is a readily accessible historical account of the making of the remarkable Oxford English Dictionary, leading up to the appointment of the first editor, James Murray, in 1879 through to its triumphant publication in 1928 and beyond. Brought to life by Simon Winchester's characteristic talent for story-telling, the achievement of making the dictionary is an unforgettable story, and is further enlivened by portraits of the myriad characters involved in its creation. From the context of early dictionaries and national projects of the Victorian Era, Simon Winchester leads his narrative through early attempts to create what was then expected to be a four-volume dictionary, the appointment of James Murray as editor, the unusual, never-before-attempted way in which the book was constructed, and the people and processes involved in the definition of thousands of words, to the triumphant publication of the dictionary and its adaptation to the age of technology. The profound impact the volumes had when they first appeared, the fame the dictionary has had in the eight decades since, and that it can be expected to have in years to come, receive full and fascinating treatment here at the pen of the best-selling author of The Surgeon of Crowthorne and The Map That Changed The World.

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Additional information

Sku
GOR001685920
Title
The Meaning of Everything: The Story of the Oxford English Dictionary
Author
Condition
Very Good
Binding type
Hardback
Publisher
Oxford University Press
Year published
Number of pages
286
ISBN 10
0198607024
ISBN 13
9780198607021
Prizes
Winner of IndieFab awards (History) 2003
Cover note
Book picture is for illustrative purposes only, actual cover or edition may vary.
Note
This is a used book - there is no escaping the fact it has been read by someone else and it will show signs of wear and previous use. Overall we expect it to be in very good condition, but if you are not entirely satisfied please get in touch with us.